What’s happening in Vegas is not staying in Vegas.
One of the University’s own, Charles “Chuck “ Pagano ‘84, M’07, was honored Friday night with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 67th Annual Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards. The ceremony was held in the grand ballroom at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
“Chuck Pagano has guided ESPN to become not only the leader in sports television technology, but throughout the entire television industry,” notes Bob Mauro, president of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Pagano joined ESPN a month before it actually signed onto the air in 1979—and long before it became the global sports multimedia juggernaut it is today. Starting as a technical director, Pagano spent 35 years at ESPN, retiring in Feb. 2015 as ESPN’s executive vice president and chief technology officer.
His contributions made ESPN the leader in marrying cutting-edge technology to unparalleled content across a variety of media platforms. He was the key driver in the creation of ESPN’s Digital Center in Bristol, Conn., one of the most technically sophisticated TV production facilities in the world.
Throughout the industry, Pagano became known as a collaborative partner, an early adopter of new ideas, and a leader who always recognized that technology starts with people.
Pagano is also praised for his loyalty, a trait that is clearly illustrated through his long-standing association with the University of Hartford. He has received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in organizational psychology from UHart, is a former member of the University’s Board of Regents, and currently serves on the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture’s Board of Visitors.
The University's public alternative radio station, WWUH, provided Pagano a chance to get a taste of the media business early on—and showcase his favorite genre of music—as he hosted a jazz show. He soon discovered, however, that he was actually more intrigued by the flashing lights on the other side of the studio's glass.
"Growing up, the U.S. army had a slogan, 'Join the army and see the world,'" Pagano recalls. "For me, the calling was to be an engineer and change the world. The engineer bug hit me big time while attending the College of Engineering at the University of Hartford, a very special institution for me."
Pagano singles out the late Bill Teso, a professor who he refers to as "my guiding light, who showed me the beauty of electromagnetics and communication theory, both important pillars that prepared me for my ESPN journey and hiked up my overall curiosity index."